Baptist World Alliance
Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Phone: +1 703 790 8980
Fax: +1 703 893 5160

November 16, 2010

For Immediate Release
Statement on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi

Washington (BWA)--The Baptist World Alliance takes note of the release of Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, from house arrest by the government of Myanmar.

The BWA rejoices at this new development, and expresses the hope that, as a symbolic gesture, the release of Ms. Suu Kyi will lead to greater freedoms for the people of Myanmar, including the release of the more than 2,000 political prisoners in the country. We also hope that the release of Ms.  Suu Kyi will be the first step toward full democracy, respect for human rights, and national reconciliation for people of all ethnic groups.

In a 2006 resolution passed by the BWA General Council in Mexico City, the BWA recognized the historic Baptist links with Burrma/Myanmar, dating back to the work of Adoniram Judson and his colleagues in the nineteenth century. The BWA also affirmed its solidarity with the civil population of Myanmar as they suffered under hardships imposed by the military regime in power since 1962.

The resolution further urged that the United Nations "take appropriate action for the protection of the lives and rights of Myanmar citizens, including their right to religious freedom."

Noting the incarceration of Ms. Suu Kyi since 1990 and the victory of the NLD in the general election of 1990, the BWA resolution called on the Myanmar authorities to "lift the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, the legally elected president in 1990."

Now that Ms. Suu Kyi has been given her freedom, the BWA urges the government of Myanmar to take further and urgent steps to expand the rights and freedoms of all its citizens, in keeping with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  

The BWA calls on all Baptists to continue to pray for the end of all human rights abuses in Myanmar.